This section covers the organisation of the new concert season.
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New Concert Season
When the three left the Robinson Company in the late afternoon, they were all satisfied that the day had gone very well.
Undepoldus did a lot of tunnelling work for Derek during the
following weeks. He was able to receive updates on the way the
comfort sharing programme was progressing. The tunnelling crews
laughed and joked with each other like friends at a party. They
all insisted that they should be checked for fitness by Undepoldus
before they started work. They had brought a heater and a tent
with them and had arranged that pairs could take time off to share
comfort while the others did their jobs. Undepoldus enjoyed being
in their happy company and they loved to work with him.
They told Undepoldus that the company had become an association of lovers. Simple hellos had been replaced by kisses and hugs had taken over from handshakes. Productivity had already risen by 10% and was still rising. Visitors and representatives had noticed the difference in the way the company staff related to each other but they were never told what had produced the change.
Every evening after work finished had become a party night. Those who worked at night usually looked in at afternoon break time and stayed until they had to start work. They all appreciated that the new way of relating to each other was exciting now but the excitement would fade as it became the norm. There was a suggestion that the hygiene facilities should be amalgamated but it was rejected because health and safety inspectors would expect the facilities to be separate. Instead everyone started to use the nearest one to where they were working. One of the rooms in the new recreation centre was marked NO ENTRY on all its access doors. This was interpreted informally as Nudes Only Entry and the doors would only open to recognised staff.
Undepoldus seemed to be very happy with the way things were going for his concerts. On the 23rd November the giant Marquee and seating arrived. The crew built a fence around the site with windows in it so that passers by could see the work in progress. The seating stand was a massive construction job on its own. Undepoldus had reckoned with a typical audience of 20,000 people each night and a maximum of 25,000. The stage was built to suit Undepoldus. He had stopped growing but was just over 113 metres long and weighed 1,008 tonnes. He had calculated that his normal weight distribution was equivalent to a load of 377 kilos per square metre so the stage flooring was built to withstand a load of 2 tonnes per square metre to allow an ample safety margin.
Undepoldus visited the site each day to see the work in progress.
As soon as the stage had been completed, he arranged with George to check the acoustics. The front of the stage was an arc 120 metres wide and 10 metres deep. The stage was 40 metres from front to back. Undepoldus experimented with various ways of arranging himself and how much of him should be used to reproduce the music. He found that he could not use all his length because of the time delay in sound emanating from one end in relation to the other end. After a lot of experimentation, with George's assistance, he settled on using his middle 50 metres from near the back of the stage. He also decided to experiment with reproducing the normal time delays for an orchestra that was 10 metres deep and using no delays. He compromised with an apparent depth of 5 metres to give the audience a slight impression of depth while minimising the time delay problem. George used a sound level meter to let Undepoldus know the range of volume he should create. He entertained the workmen with a selection of the latest multistep and superslide hit tunes. The workmen soon discovered that Undpoldus could play any piece of music from the last three centuries. If the piece was relatively modern, Undepoldus would ask whose version of the music was required. He also was asked to play a whole piece of music from a sample badly performed by one of the workpeople. He proved to be an expert at identifying what was needed because he could sense if his guesses were going in the right direction.. Having done so he could tell the person concerned when the music was first produced and what recordings of it were available. In many instances Undepoldus could give the reference number for the recording of his version of the music.
Kerstin and Marita came to the marquee to see and hear how Undepoldus was preparing for his concerts.
On Sunday 29th November Undepoldus had his version of a dress rehearsal. He performed a selection of Swedish folk tunes and songs for Marita and Kerstin and a few Scottish tunes for George's benefit. The Marquee seemed nearly empty although Undepoldus had invited more than 2,000 people to his preview programme. Engineers from the recording company made final adjustments to the positions of their microphones and replayed parts of the recordings to compare them with the original sounds Undepoldus had made. By ten in the evening Undepoldus had performed for nearly three hours and the engineers were satisfied with their set-up.
As with his previous concerts, all tickets had been sold to
named customers and each customer was told when to arrive to minimise
On the opening night it was wet and windy but the inside of the marquee was warm and cosy. Undepoldus was already on stage when the audience started to come in. He used his body to display a continuous moving sign. Sometimes it was a greeting to someone he spotted and at other times he displayed a request to keep applause between items to less than ten seconds. Undepoldus started with what had become a sort of signature tune Inchworm and continued with a new piece called Blake's Sonata for Undepoldus, a work that had been written to honour him and his musical ability. Spacer music was represented by Elizabeth Burke's Symphony for Lagrangians. Undepoldus performed for three hours and kept the audience enthralled by his beautiful interpretations of music old and new.
Afterwards he told George that all of his concerts were fully booked until the end of February.
Undepoldus found time to continue tunnelling after his nightly
concerts and the work to build his launch vehicle began. His final
design had been slightly simplified because his weight remained
more or less constant. Spacers at Lagrange Five were building
his interstellar vehicle. The completion date for the space vehicles
was expected to be at the end of May. When he wasn't tunnelling,
George, Marita and Kerstin joined him for nights of pleasure in
It was a relatively relaxed time for all four friends because each day had more or less become a repeated routine. Sales of Undepoldus recordings maintained a steady high level and the income received by the trust covered the cost of the launch vehicle twice over. The income Undepoldus derived from his tunnelling work covered all the costs for his concerts. The concert receipts added to the fortune that Undepoldus was accumulating. There was an attempt in the British parliament to make Undepoldus liable to British taxes. It failed because Undepoldus was not classified as a human and was for legal purposes a Spacer. Kerstin began to study the first parts of the Spacer Cadet course by vidcom assisted by Marita and George. She visited the Spacers College for pilot aptitude tests on a simulator and passed. The result helped her to decide that she would train as a Spacer pilot when Undepoldus had left to go home.
George in the meantime had collated all the data and interviews that related to Undepoldus and was gradually compiling the information for a vidbook.
The next section covers the occurrence of a severe storm and its consequences
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